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Overuse of steroids may cause osteoporosis: Expert

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Says smoking and alcohol slows recovery from Covid

Jammu: Professor and Head of Unit, Department of Orthopedics at GMC Hospital Jammu, Dr Abdul Ghani Tuesday said that overuse of steroids may lead to osteoporosis, a condition in which the bones become weak and brittle.

He also informed that diabetic patients are also prone to osteoporosis, if they catch Covid.

The doctor advised those under quarantine and with mild symptoms to take a regular walk, without exerting their bodies too much.

After recovery, the patients must start gentle exercise to keep bones and joints fit, he advised.

It is also advised that all Covid patients must stay hydrated as it reduces chances of bone and joint pain in addition adding to the general well-being. It is normal to experience joint pains in some patients post-recovery from Covid, he added.

The doctor strongly dissuades people from smoking and consuming excessive alcohol. Both these habits reduce a person’s ability to fight Covid, he informed.

Since physical activity is greatly reduced during home isolation and quarantine, the doctor suggested “taking balanced diet is the only healthy way to keep fit. The public is advised to avoid fatty and high calorie foods as they cause obesity which impedes rate of recovery from Covid. Obesity in general is also bad for overall health and may also cause osteoporosis.”

Dr Ghani also advised for taking multivitamins, calcium and other health supplements, particularly by the elderly and females to help them improve their overall immunity.

“Our public is usually found deficient in Vitamin D. Covid positive or not, everybody should consume 60000 IU Vitamin D dose once a week, for eight consecutive weeks, every year. The course should be done every year to prevent vitamin deficiency,” the doctor suggested while discouraging taking Vitamin D injections.

About treatment of routine orthopedic patients at GMC, the doctor said, “cases like fractures, which need immediate surgery, are being done in the Emergency section of GMC invariably.

“All incoming patients are being given a Rapid Antigen Test for Covid at the time of their admission and nobody is being rejected for lack of Covid test reports,” he said.

“Only in critical cases where surgery is immediately required and the patient is Covid positive, do we operate, otherwise we prefer that our patients recover from Covid before undergoing surgery. It is for the betterment of the patient only, as Covid also leads to unexpected complications while multiplying the patient’s trauma,” he said.

He said the patients are categorised under Red, Yellow and Green categories. “Only the patients under Red category are operated upon immediately, irrespective of their Covid reports. Covid positive patients who fall under Yellow category are first allowed to recover from Covid and only once their condition stabilises do we operate upon them.

“Those who do not need surgery urgently are kept under the Green category. The categorisation is done according to guidelines set by the Indian Orthopedics Association,” the doctor informed.

The doctor also encouraged people to opt for telephonic and telemedicine facilities launched by the government.

Pertinently all Covid-related queries and doubts can be cleared on helpline number 0191-2571616. Public can also call the Divisional Control Room at 0191-2520982, 2549676, 2674444, 2674115, 2674908, an official press release said.

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